Since 1982, when the issue of free trade with the United States was resurrected, dusted off and presented anew to Canadians, we have been buffetted by dissenting viewpoints on this contentious and crucial question. Can Canada stand alone and hold its own in the economically turbulent late 20th century? Should it even try? A major gap in the debate so far has been a comprehensive context in which the average Canadian could place the matter at hand. This series attempts to fill that gap. It clarifies not only Canada's economic position in relation to its closest neighbor, but also the United States' economic standing in the world. In the process, Reckoning clearly shows Canada's current position in the global economicy and where, perhaps, it should be heading.
This feature documentary provides a gripping retrospective of United States-Canada relationships through a study of successive presidents and prime ministers. Using archival film footage, it demonstrates that Canadian prime ministers, from John A. Macdonald down, all began their tenures by making overtures to their American counterparts. Attitudes and outcomes have varied widely. The almost comic antipathy between Kennedy and Diefenbaker, for instance, is as palpable here as is the folksy camaraderie of Reagan and Mulroney. Part four of Reckoning: The Political Economy of Canada series.